Refinishing Wood Flooring to Best Effect
Whilst solid wood flooring can be kept shiny and beautiful for many years by regular maintenance, polishing and buffing, there will come a time when the sheen is a little dulled. To bring the wood back to its shining and glowing best will require a full refinishing.
A correctly carried out refinishing adds lustre and sparkle to any type of hard and softwood and brings a rich fullness to the floor. Refinishing, along with a little maintenance during the intervening years, will mean that your wood floor restoration company will easily last a decade or more, making it the most cost-effective method of real wood floor maintenance.
Given that refinishing is worth its weight in… well wood, the next thing to consider is whether to try your hand at doing it yourself or to enlist the expertise of the wood floor professionals. If refinishing a solid wood is something you have always wanted to try then read on before deciding if DIY is right for both you and your floor.
In addition to adding value to the home, refinished floors look beautiful and are marked as a stunning centrepiece to any room. Décor, ornaments, fixtures and fittings often pale in comparison to a richly burnished real wood floor.
The wear and tear of years
No matter how careful you may be, it is more than likely that every floor has scratches, small holes and stains that mar the natural beauty of the wood. This is simply ‘wear and tear’ and common to all floors. However, these can all be eradicated by a good refinishing. In addition to these small flaws it may be that parts of the floor need repair or, in some cases, replacing entirely. If the floor has not been refinished for some time or if you are the new owner of the floor then you might discover some missing or badly damaged planking which may have occurred when new plumbing and rewiring was carried out in the past.
If any planks are twisted, warped, bevelled or discoloured then this might indicate old water damage or rot. Boards damaged in this way should always be replaced.
A complete refinishing is not something you want to be doing too often, so it is worth obtaining a free quotation and flooring assessment from a flooring specialist first, after which you can decide either to DIY or allow the professionals to return your floor to its pristine beauty. If your floor is maple then it is better handled by specialist care. It is never recommended that an amateur, no matter how gifted, attempt to refurnish a maple floor.
There has been much written about solid wood floor refinishing techniques but in a nutshell the procedure is repair-replace-sand-refinish. Each of these four steps are integral to the finished effect of your floor and should never be skipped or glossed over.
Depending on how you want to proceed you can either buff the floor at this stage or continue with applying a refinishing product of varnish, lacquer or oil. If you would like to change the colour of the floor you can use one of the toxin-free coloured wood stains available on the market. Although all woodstain sold in the UK contain no harmful chemicals, it is essential to keep the room well aired whilst working, with external doors and windows open. Do not smoke or use a naked flame beside an opened can of woodstain as this is a flammable product.
It is usual for a well-sanded floor to accept at least three coats of finishing. Apply slowly and in small circular rubbing motions with a soft cloth. Avoid spillage and do not paint the finishing across the floor with a brush. Residual finishing should be removed before it dries. All type of finishing should be applied along the grain of the wood.